How Labor could end its losing streak and win again in North East Lincolnshire

The past few weeks have been disastrous for the Conservatives.

The party lost a safe by-election, slumped in the polls, and the prime minister was forced to issue a humiliating apology for lockdown parties breaking the rules last year.

Labor is certainly hoping to ride the wave of national victory – but is the same possible in North East Lincolnshire?

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The historically left-wing council oscillated between Labor and various coalitions in the first 24 years of its existence.

Then, in 2019, the Conservatives took absolute control in an unprecedented victory.

Since then, local elections have brought more joy and they now control 31 of the 42 seats.

Labor was reduced to seven, the Liberal Democrats to three and Ukip was wiped out. One seat is also vacant.



North East Lincolnshire Council Labor leader Matthew Patrick hopes to bring the party back to power

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With some of their traditional strongholds and veteran advisers gone, Labor now only has seats in the West Marsh, South, Sidney Sussex and Heneage wards of Grimsby.

But if the country’s mood changes, can the local party capitalize on that and start winning back voters?

Labor leader Councilor Matthew Patrick did not respond to requests to speak about it, but it is not unthinkable.

One of the defining issues in the 2019 local elections in which the Tories took power was the Toll Bar roundabout fiasco, which Labor were determined to replace with traffic lights.

Despite opposition from motorists, local residents and the Toll Bar Academy, the party pledged to force it through.



Celebrations for the Conservative party led by party leader Philip Jackson in 2019

Conservatives made the most of unpopular projects and quickly curbed them once they came to power.

Nearly three years later, has the question disappeared from the minds of voters?

Then there’s the question of whether Grimsby will actually be upgraded.

Although the Town Deal was signed under the watch of the Labor Party, the Conservative Party is proud to bring money to government in North East Lincolnshire.

It’s hard to keep track of all the different grants, Future High Street funds, Leveling Up money and Town Deal money.

But will voters wait to see the difference or grow impatient?



Lia Nici wants to see evidence of change in Grimsby

Grimsby MP Lia Nici, who was elected around the same time as the current administration, told a party conference last year that voters were “expecting something to happen now”.

“If I don’t see physical changes in my city before the next election, chances are I won’t keep my seat,” she said.

“My concern is that the national government and the local government are moving incredibly slowly.

“The message now is that we have to get to work. We really need to see positive change now.



The Prime Minister was forced to apologize for the lockdown parties, which he believed were work-related

It’s also worth remembering how long ago 2019 is.

The main political issue for miles was Brexit, which Boris Johnson used to good effect in his landslide victory.

But today it has been completely replaced by the coronavirus, and the restrictions and recovery that come with it.

If voters grow unhappy with the government’s handling of the situation and if Johnson is replaced – which is far from certain – Labor may find the political playing field shifts in their favor.

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Of course, local politics is also about individual personalities, fly dumps in alleyways, housing estates and bus services.

It takes hard work to find good candidates, gain trust and build a successful party, and Labor certainly has a mountain to climb after its losing streak in recent elections.

When voters head to the polls in May for local elections, they will wonder who can deliver the best results for them.

Even if Sir Kier Starmer eventually becomes Prime Minister of the UK, it is far from certain that Labor will make a comeback in North East Lincolnshire.

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